Quotations of Wisdom

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Christiaan Huygens

The world is my country, science is my religion. [Q1229]

Daniel H. Pink

It's in our nature to seek purpose. But that nature is now being revealed and expressed on a scale that is demographically unprecedented and, until recently, scarcely imaginable. The consequences could rejuvenated our business and remake our world. — Drive, Chapter 6. Purpose. [Q371]

Mohandas Gandhi

It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err. [Q566]

Todd Solondz

When part of what you're trying to get at is the truth hidden under a taboo, or when you want to nail a hypocrisy, laughter is a very useful tool. I want to show the painful side of existence, but there is no question I also want to make people laugh. [Q478]

Katherine Anne Porter

Human life itself may be almost pure chaos, but the work of the artist is to take these handfuls of confusion and disparate things, things that seem to be irreconcilable, and put them together in a frame to give them some kind of shape and meaning. [Q524]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man is a method, a progressive arrangement; a selecting principle, gathering his like to him; wherever he goes. [Q403]

Buckminster Fuller

Today's news consists of aggregates of fragments. Anyone who has taken part in any event that has subsequently appeared in the news is aware of the gross disparity between the actual and the reported events. The insistence by reporters upon having advance "releases" of what, for instance, convocation speakers are supposedly going to say but in fact have not yet said, automatically discredits the value of the largely prefabricated news. We also learn frequently of prefabricated and prevaricated events of a complex nature purportedly undertaken for purposes either of suppressing or rigging the news, which in turn perverts humanity's tactical information resources. All history becomes suspect. Probably our most polluted resource is the tactical information to which humanity spontaneously reflexes. — The Wellspring of Reality [Q179]

Contact the Movie

I'll tell you one thing about the universe, though. The universe is a pretty big place. It's bigger than anything anyone has ever dreamed of before. So if it's just us... seems like an awful waste of space. Right? [Q1411]

Noam Chomsky

You never need an argument against the use of violence, you need an argument for it. [Q164]

Brian Kernigan

Controlling complexity is the essence of computer programming. [Q673]

L. Peter Deutsch

To iterate is human, to recurse divine. [Q676]

Mohandas Gandhi

Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth. [Q560]

Ward Cunningham

A wiki is like a party that doesn’t have to stop. It’s a party that doesn’t get crowded because new rooms appear when needed. It’s a timeless party where you can try each conversation over and over until you get it right. [Q1007]

Walter Kirn

Literally, while I was writing, the town eccentrics were looking over my shoulder, asking about what I was writing, listening to my explanations, offering their two cents. It had gotten around town pretty quickly that what Walter was doing inside his house could be viewed easily on a computer. I thought, 'This is more interactivity than I can stand!' But it was interesting too. [Q1267]

Master Kan

To suppress a truth is to give it force beyond endurance. [Q521]


Prayer indeed is good, but while calling on the gods a man should himself lend a hand. [Q1031]

Marshall McLuhan

Art at its most significant is a Distant Early Warning System that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. [Q1453]

Robert Fuller

Anger congeals to hate when people fear domination and experience the indignity of being discounted. No one, conservative or progressive, likes being taken for a nobody. Hatred takes root when fears remain unaddressed and dignity is disregarded. Imagined indignities can feel as injurious as real ones, and suffice to incite people to commit mayhem and murder. [Q1346]

Barbara Deming

The longer we listen to one another - with real attention - the more commonality we will find in all our lives. That is, if we are careful to exchange with one another life stories and not simply opinions. [Q379]

Buckminster Fuller

Always go along with the truth as you know it. [Q134]

Albert Einstein

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious. [Q169]

Wendell Berry

We Americans are not usually thought to be a submissive people, but of course we are. Why else would we allow our country to be destroyed? Why else would we be rewarding its destroyers? [Q1318]

Scott Nesler

Truth is found in the journey. Facts are often road blocks. When the answer is traversed it is discovered the question was never asked in the first place. [Q2023]


The world turns aside to let any man pass who knows where he is going. [Q823]

Václav Havel

The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less. [Q1756]

Barbara Deming

We believe, in fact, that the one act of respect has little force unless matched by the other, in balance with it. The acting out of that dual respect I would name as precisely the source of our power. [Q1394]

Francis Bacon

Truth is the daughter of time, not of authority. [Q1952]

Master Kan

The Yin and the Yang are opposite forces yet they exist together in the harmony of a perfect orb. — "Kung Fu" The Passion of Chen Yi — 1974 Episode 34 [Q631]

Joseph Pulitzer

I know that my retirement will make no difference in its cardinal principles, that it will always fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, always fight demagogues of all parties, never belong to any party, always oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, and never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty. [Q1386]

Gautama Buddha

There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it. [Q2]


An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics. [Q773]

Scott Nesler

The human species lives in a world where understanding partners with conflict. [Q594]

Scott Nesler

Though the United States Constitution mandates the freedom of speech, it says nothing about being heard. [Q1223]

Margaret Mead

Our humanity rests upon a series of learned behaviors, woven together into patterns that are infinitely fragile and never directly inherited. [Q1428]

Richard P. Feynman

Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts. [Q973]

The Pragmatic Programmer

Conventional wisdom says that once a project is in the coding phase, the work is mostly mechanical, transcribing the design into executable statements. We think that this attitude is the single biggest reason that many programs are ugly, inefficient, poorly structured, unmaintainable, and just plain wrong. [Q168]

L. Frank Baum

Imagination has brought mankind through the dark ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. [Q502]

Elijah P. Lovejoy

But, gentlemen, as long as I am an American citizen, and as long as American blood runs in these veins, I shall hold myself at liberty to speak, to write, to publish whatever I please on any subject--being amenable to the laws of my country for the same. [Q2049]

Hideki Tōjō

It is natural that I should bear entire responsibility for the war in general, and, needless to say, I am prepared to do so. Consequently, now that the war has been lost, it is presumably necessary that I be judged so that the circumstances of the time can be clarified and the future peace of the world be assured. Therefore, with respect to my trial, it is my intention to speak frankly, according to my recollection, even though when the vanquished stands before the victor, who has over him the power of life and death, he may be apt to toady and flatter. I mean to pay considerable attention to this in my actions, and say to the end that what is true is true and what is false is false. To shade one's words in flattery to the point of untruthfulness would falsify the trial and do incalculable harm to the nation, and great care must be taken to avoid this. [Q1058]

Meister Eckhart

Truly, it is in darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us. [Q1634]


Science is nothing but perception. [Q892]

Richard P. Feynman

The worthwhile problems are the ones you can really solve or help solve, the ones you can really contribute something to. ... No problem is too small or too trivial if we can really do something about it. [Q972]

Charles Schulz

There's a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker. [Q56]

Senator Paul Simon

The media often determine priorities for policymakers. If an issue gets big play it captures the attention of those who determine the course of a community, state, or nation; first, because the issue is in the news, it creates public attention and frequently concern; and second, because those in public life know that the oxygen of political survival is attention from the media, and the seldom expressed but widely understood maxim for officeholders is "If they're covering it, I'll comment on it." [Q1733]

Al Hirschfeld

Artists are just children who refuse to put down their crayons. [Q1305]

Buckminster Fuller

At the present cosmic moment, muscle, cunning, fear, and selfishness are in powerful control of human affairs. We humans are here in Universe to exercise the Universe-functioning mind. Only mind can apprehend, abide by, and be led by truth. If human mind comes into control of human affairs, the first thing it will do is exercise our option to "make it". [Q127]

George Mobus

If we are such a clever species, why is the world the way it is, and heading in a bad direction? [Q1842]

J. Robert Oppenheimer

There are children playing in the streets who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago. [Q322]


Dr. Mark Powell: What if I were to tell you that according to a man who lived on our planet, named Einstein, that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light?

prot: I would say that you misread Einstein, Dr. Powell. May I call you Mark? You see Mark, what Einstein actually said was that nothing can accelerate to the speed of light because its mass would become infinite. Einstein said nothing about entities already traveling at the speed of light or faster.


Marshall McLuhan

The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist. [Q1477]

Richard Stallman

The desire to be rewarded for one's creativity does not justify depriving the world in general of all or part of that creativity. [Q1246]

Thor Heyerdahl

In my experience, it is rarer to find a really happy person in a circle of millionaires than among vagabonds. [Q1536]

Walter Cronkite

Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine. [Q623]

Dante Alighieri

The secret of getting things done is to act! [Q1516]

Marie Curie

Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas. [Q326]


By desiring little, a poor man makes himself rich. [Q1163]

Thomas Jefferson

He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. [Q199]

Ward Cunningham

Scott — You seem to have a technical solution to what I might call "dysfunctional divergence" of thought. Blogs encourage divergence, perhaps to the point of dysfunction. Wikis encourage convergence, else edit wars produce dysfunction. There is surely opportunity to invent in the middle ground. — In reference to the Do Good Gauge [Q243]


The most perfect political community is one in which the middle class is in control, and outnumbers both of the other classes. [Q861]

Jonas Salk

Nothing happens quite by chance. It's a question of accretion of information and experience ... it's just chance that I happened to be here at this particular time when there was available and at my disposal the great experience of all the investigators who plodded along for a number of years. [Q485]

Milton Friedman

Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another. [Q1057]

Dar Williams

And where does magic come from? I think that magic's in the learning. [Q1958]

J. William Fulbright

Our elected representatives ... study and analyze public attitude by sophisticated new techniques, but their purpose has little to do with leadership. ... Their purpose, it seems, is to discover what people want and fear and dislike, and then to identify themselves with those sentiments. They seek to discover which issues can be safely emphasized and which are more prudently avoided. This approach to politics is the opposite of leadership; it is followership, for purpose of self-advancement. ... [Q1821]

Senator Paul Simon

There are a few "hot button" issues that people experienced in politics know are volatile. ... Those issues are abortion, gun control, gays in the military, and affirmative action. [Q1825]

Eugene McCarthy

Saying we should keep the two-party system simply because it is working is like saying the Titanic voyage was a success because a few people survived on life rafts. [Q2028]

Master Po

Old Man, how is it that you hear these things? Young Man, how is it that you do not? — Kung Fu Television Series 1972 [Q510]

Mustafa Kemal

Today, our most important and most productive task is the national education [unification and modernization] affairs. We have to be successful in national education affairs and we shall be. The liberation of a nation is only achieved through this way. [Q1930]

Anne Lamott

I am very devout, but I don't have certainty or conviction. The opposite of faith isn't doubt; it's certainty. [Q43]

Bible - Matthew 7:2

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. [Q427]

Kurt Gödel

Learn to act correctly: everybody has shortcomings, believes in something wrong, and live to carry out his mistakes. [Q1967]

Senator Paul Simon

One of the things I have learned in life is that violence breeds violence. Just as citizens should exercise self-restraint, so should government. Those who represent a threat to society should be jailed, but don't incarcerate our consciences with the death penalty. [Q1722]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

People who honestly mean to be true really contradict themselves much more rarely than those who try to be 'consistent'. [Q1080]

Henry David Thoreau

Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. [Q299]

Scott Nesler

There is no right to be heard. [Q97]

Senator Paul Simon

I also came face to face with real people and real problems and it gradually occurred to me that these difficult human situations don't fit into neat order. [Q1827]

Margaret Sanger

Diplomats make it their business to conceal the facts. [Q1667]

Senator Paul Simon

We gain from listening to others, not that we accept all assertions of truth as equally valid. [Q1702]

Adlai Stevenson

The New Dealers have all left Washington to make way for the car dealers. [Q1651]


Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire. [Q812]

Pablo Picasso

You mustn't always believe what I say. Questions tempt you to tell lies, particularly when there is no answer. [Q607]

Václav Havel

Today's world, as we all know, is faced with multiple threats. From whichever angle I look at this menace, I always come to the conclusion that salvation can only come through a profound awakening of man to his own personal responsibility, which is at the same time a global responsibility. Thus, the only way to save our world, as I see it, lies in a democracy that recalls its ancient Greek roots: democracy based on an integral human personality personally answering for the fate of the community. [Q1800]

Marshall McLuhan

An administrator in a bureaucratic world is a man who can feel big by merging his non-entity in an abstraction. A real person in touch with real things inspires terror in him. [Q1449]

Benito Mussolini

Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy. [Q1048]

Swami Vivekananda

We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far. [Q1145]

David Hume

Nothing is more surprising than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few. [Q1359]

Albert Einstein

I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots. [Q2091]

Wayne Dyer

The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don't know anything about. [Q692]


The misfortune of the wise is better than the prosperity of the fool. [Q805]

Miles Davis

Don't play what's there, play what's not there. [Q2052]

Swami Vivekananda

As different streams having different sources all mingle their waters in the sea, so different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to God. [Q1136]

Todd Jealous

We do not owe allegiance to any candidate because they share our party or our color, but because they share our principles and our conscience. [Q2067]

David Hume

Eloquence, at its highest pitch, leaves little room for reason or reflection, but addresses itself entirely to the desires and affections, captivating the willing hearers, and subduing their understanding. [Q1356]


In a fearful nation the king is law. [Q1176]

Julius Rosenberg

There had to be a hysteria and a fear sent through America in order to get increased war budgets. [Q1546]

Marshall McLuhan

Obsolescence never meant the end of anything, it's just the beginning. [Q1467]

Titus Maccius Plautus

Modus omnibus in rebus - In everything the middle course is best, all things in excess brings contention. — Poenulus [Q1218]

Herbert Simon

There are no morals about technology at all. Technology expands our ways of thinking about things, expands our ways of doing things. If we're bad people we use technology for bad purposes and if we're good people we use it for good purposes. [Q651]


The years have been good. Quiet and measured. Flowing slowly like water. — Kung Fu television series 1972 [Q514]

Henry Drummond

All I want is to prevent the clock-stoppers from dumping a load of medieval nonsense into the United States Constitution. — Inherit the Wind [Q102]

Meister Eckhart

The knower and the known are one. Simple people imagine that they should see God as if he stood there and they here. This is not so. God and I, we are one in knowledge. [Q1629]

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